Tag Archives: Homeless People

Rex Schellenberg v. City Of Los Angeles — In September 2018 Carol Sobel Filed Yet Another Federal Suit Against The City Of Los Angeles — Alleging Summary Confiscation And Destruction Of The Property Of An Elderly Disabled Homeless Man — And Seeking An Injunction Against These Practices — For Some Reason This Has Not Been Covered At All In The Media — Read The Initial Complaint Here

On September 3, 2018 Carol Sobel filed suit in federal court against the City of Los Angeles, alleging that Rex Schellenberg, a homeless man living in the San Fernando Valley, stepped away from his property briefly only to have it confiscated and much of it destroyed by the LAPD and LA Sanitation personnel. I can’t find anything about this case in the media, in contrast to Sobel’s other pending case on the matter, Mitchell v. City of LA, which is covered extensively. You can read and get copies of the pleadings here on Archive.Org. I’ll update the collection as more stuff is filed.

The facts of the case are simple. Schellenberg, an elderly man homeless in Los Angeles for more than twenty years and disabled as well, lives in the San Fernando Valley. In July 2017 he left his property momentarily unattended to visit a convenience store and employees of the City of Los Angeles summarily confiscated and destroyed Schellenberg’s neatly stored possessions. In its monumental decision in Lavan v. City of LA, the Ninth Circuit had this to say about this practice:

As we have repeatedly made clear, “[t]he government may not take property like a thief in the night; rather, it must announce its intentions and give the property owner a chance to argue against the taking.” This simple rule holds regardless of whether the property in question is an Escalade or [a tent], a Cadillac or a cart. The City demonstrates that it completely misunderstands the role of due process by its contrary suggestion that homeless persons instantly and permanently lose any protected property interest in their possessions by leaving them momentarily unattended in violation of a municipal ordinance. As the district court recognized, the logic of the City’s suggestion would also allow it to seize and destroy cars parked in no-parking zones left momentarily unattended.

As with all of Sobel’s writing, the initial complaint makes compelling reading. You can get a copy of the PDF here, or turn the page for a transcription of selections.
Continue reading Rex Schellenberg v. City Of Los Angeles — In September 2018 Carol Sobel Filed Yet Another Federal Suit Against The City Of Los Angeles — Alleging Summary Confiscation And Destruction Of The Property Of An Elderly Disabled Homeless Man — And Seeking An Injunction Against These Practices — For Some Reason This Has Not Been Covered At All In The Media — Read The Initial Complaint Here

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In 2017 Kerry Morrison — Whose Experience Of Mental Health Policy Seems To Consist Mainly Of Illegally Locking Up Homeless People In Hollywood — Was Asked By County Mental Health Staff To Name Potential Commissioners — Among Others She Identified Steve Seyler — Whose Experience With Mental Health Policy Seems To Consist Of Bossing A Heavily Armed Gang Of Thugs In Hollywood Responsible For Incarcerating The Homeless At An Astonishing Rate — And Who Doesn’t Even Live In L.A. County, For That Matter

As you’re surely aware, our old friend Kerry Morrison has managed over the last twenty two years to position herself as some kind of neutral expert on homelessness in Los Angeles and thereby to be appointed to all kinds of influential positions even though actually, as executive director of the Hollywood Property Owners’ Alliance, she earns her salary by overseeing the arrest of homeless residents of Hollywood at an astonishing rate as part of her ultimate goal of moving them out of her BIDs by any means necessary.

For instance, as a result, former CD13 rep Eric Garcetti felt free to appoint her to the LAHSA Commission and subsequently to the Prop HHH Citizens’ oversight committee.1 The fact that Kerry Morrison is a politically viable candidate for such appointments despite the fact that her positions differ not at all in any pragmatic way from those of e.g. open advocate for violence, slavering anti-homeless psychopath, and manifestly unappointable-to-anything Mark Ryavec shows the disheartening extent to which she’s managed, through deception and the inattention of journalists to BIDs in Los Angeles, to maintain her public image as some kind of local Mother Teresa figure.2

Kerry Morrison’s genius for reputation-laundering reached a kind of apotheosis in 2016 when she wangled herself a Stanton Fellowship, which is some kind of grant awarded by the Durfee Foundation3 to “allow leaders to test a hunch,” whatever that means.4 And regardless of what it means to the Foundation, it’s also very convenient for Ms. Kerry Morrison as yet another way to fail to acknowledge her paymasters at the BID.5

Given all this it was no surprise to discover that in 2017 Kerry Morrison somehow found her way onto something called the Los Angeles County Mental Health Commission‘s Ad Hoc Committee on LA County’s Board And Care System. When I learned of this in February, naturally I went ahead and sent a CPRA request to the County for all relevant emails. After an astonishing level of obstructionist shenanigans6 they finally released some subset of what I asked for, and you can read the whole set here on Archive.Org.

One moderately interesting item lurking amongst the chaff is the actual report prepared by the Ad Hockies. It’s mostly expected platitudes and stuff, though. The most interesting part is that, as discussed above, Kerry Morrison gives her institutional affiliation as “Stanton Fellow 2016-17” rather than as something honest like, e.g., queen homeless killer for the HPOA.

And there is a lot to write about in this set of records, but the text for today’s sermon is this June 12, 2017 email from Kerry Morrison7 to her gang of yes-people on the Hollywood 4WRD mailing list8 asking if any of them want to be appointed to the County Mental Health Commission. Turn the page for links to the emails, transcriptions thereof, and some commentary!
Continue reading In 2017 Kerry Morrison — Whose Experience Of Mental Health Policy Seems To Consist Mainly Of Illegally Locking Up Homeless People In Hollywood — Was Asked By County Mental Health Staff To Name Potential Commissioners — Among Others She Identified Steve Seyler — Whose Experience With Mental Health Policy Seems To Consist Of Bossing A Heavily Armed Gang Of Thugs In Hollywood Responsible For Incarcerating The Homeless At An Astonishing Rate — And Who Doesn’t Even Live In L.A. County, For That Matter

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How Carol Schatz’s Former Event Planner Joella Hopkins Relies On Her Life-Long Experience Of Watching WWE Wrestling With Her Dad To Inform José Huizar’s Homelessness Policies — Which Essentially Amount To Using HHH Money To Build Housing So The LAPD Can Start Arresting Every Homeless Person In Sight Again — Cause Cops Aren’t Mental Health Workers, After All, They Are Arresters!

José Huizar was scheduled to speak at yesterday’s South Park BID board of directors meeting, so off I went to record the goings-on for history’s sake. The entire video is here on YouTube and Huizar starts here. His remarks were even more devoid of content than usual, although I’ll have something to say about them soon.1

The CM was, however, late to the meeting, leaving his brand-new Downtown District Director, Carol Schatz’s former event planner, the one and only Joella Hopkins, CSEP, CMP, MBA, to extemporize for a surprisingly long time, starting here. As always there’s a transcription after the break.

The focus at first was on homelessness. In particular on the usual story about how essential it is for the City to build enough housing so that the LAPD can start arresting every homeless person in sight. She then moved on to what she characterized as “a rise, a more blatant rise in public safety issues with transients or mentally ill assaulting our residents on the street.” And while Joella Hopkins’s remarks are usually weird, her remarks here were even weirder than usual.

Of course, this “rise in public safety issues” is a favorite narrative of our City’s zillionaire elite when it comes to repressing the homeless of Los Angeles. Usually they don’t bother with evidence, but Joella Hopkins, to her credit, her shame, something, did at least try to support the claim, seemingly justifying it with this cryptic remark: “… if you guys are on social media …”
Continue reading How Carol Schatz’s Former Event Planner Joella Hopkins Relies On Her Life-Long Experience Of Watching WWE Wrestling With Her Dad To Inform José Huizar’s Homelessness Policies — Which Essentially Amount To Using HHH Money To Build Housing So The LAPD Can Start Arresting Every Homeless Person In Sight Again — Cause Cops Aren’t Mental Health Workers, After All, They Are Arresters!

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An Interesting Example From Wilshire Center Showing How Eric Garcetti Used The BID To Supply A Tame Businessperson To Speak For Herb Wesson’s Proposed K-Town Homeless Shelter — Revealing At Least One Of The Ways In Which The City Of Los Angeles Relies On BIDs To Manufacture An Appearance Of Community Support For Its Projects — Did I Mention The City Told The BID A Week Before They Told The News Media And Asked The BID To Keep Quiet About It?!

It’s been clear for a long time now that one of the uses that the City gets out of BIDs is to encourage them to lobby it, thus creating an appearance of community support for projects that the City intended to do all along. It’s easy to see the results of this process at any City Council meeting where a bunch of BIDdies line up to speak in favor of random proposal X that they don’t have any organic reason for caring about.

However, it’s not so easy to see the lead-up to the lobbying events. Obviously City officials are reluctant to release the evidence, and perhaps the BIDdies are as well.1 That’s why today’s documents are so very interesting! The emails I’m presenting are part of a larger release from the Wilshire Center BID, and you can get the original MBOX file or PDFs if you prefer here on Archive.Org.

The story is about the by-now famous homeless shelter proposed for Koreatown by CD10 repster Herb Wesson. The world found out about this project on May 2, 2018 at a joint press conference held by Wesson and Eric Garcetti, as Gale Holland explains in this characteristically excellent story in the Times.2

But amazingly, City staffers told the BID about the proposal on April 26, a full week before anyone else knew. BID board members were asked to keep quiet about it and also to propose a businessperson to speak at the May 2 press conference in support of the shelter. Real Estate zillionaire Mike Hakim volunteered himself to speak at BID director Mike Russell’s request but was, it seems, ignored by everyone, no doubt due to his shady, universally hated skyscraper project in Koreatown.

Instead, Mike Russell nominated Greenbridge Investments flunky Brenda Arianpour, a real estate zillionaire whom Russell misrepresented as a small business owner. After thorough vetting by Garcetti’s communications flacks, Arianpour was chosen to speak in favor of the project. Although not, of course, to speak in her own unscrutinized words. Garcetti’s flacks were sure to discuss “talking points” with her in advance.

The emails by which this was arranged are linked to and transcribed below.
Continue reading An Interesting Example From Wilshire Center Showing How Eric Garcetti Used The BID To Supply A Tame Businessperson To Speak For Herb Wesson’s Proposed K-Town Homeless Shelter — Revealing At Least One Of The Ways In Which The City Of Los Angeles Relies On BIDs To Manufacture An Appearance Of Community Support For Its Projects — Did I Mention The City Told The BID A Week Before They Told The News Media And Asked The BID To Keep Quiet About It?!

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Mere Moments Ago Judge David Carter Issues Minute Order Extending His Temporary Restraining Order Against Orange County Or Cities Evicting Homeless People From Santa Ana River Bed Until The End Of Tomorrow, Wednesday, February 14

For background, see Luke Money‘s excellent coverage in the Times, starting with this January 29 article on the Lawsuit and continuing with this article on the February 13 hearing. Coverage is also being handled by Hannah Fry and Doug Smith. You can also download selected pleadings in the case from our Archive.Org site.

This morning a hearing was held before Judge David Carter on the plaintiffs’ motion to grant a temporary order restraining local governments from evicting or arresting homeless people on the bed of the Santa Ana River1 Last week, in anticipation of today’s hearing, Carter issued a temporary injunction which is set to expire at midnight tonight.

Today’s hearing was meant to determine whether the injunction should be extended. It seems that the hearing is continuing over until tomorrow, because mere moments ago he filed a minute order extending the temporary restraining order until tomorrow night “[b]ecause the hearing is continuing to February 14, 2018.”Look for the final order here, and find a transcription of tonight’s order after the break.
Continue reading Mere Moments Ago Judge David Carter Issues Minute Order Extending His Temporary Restraining Order Against Orange County Or Cities Evicting Homeless People From Santa Ana River Bed Until The End Of Tomorrow, Wednesday, February 14

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Amicus Briefs Filed In Orange County Catholic Worker Case In Support Of Injunction Against Evictions, Hearing On Tuesday Morning, February 13

For background, see Luke Money‘s excellent coverage in the Times, starting with this January 29 article on the Lawsuit and continuing with this article on the February 13 hearing. You can also download selected pleadings in the case from our Archive.Org site.

Last week Judge Carter issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting Orange County, the City of Anaheim, and anyone else who might be minded to do so from arresting anyone on the bed of the Santa Ana River for trespassing, camping, and similar anti-homeless offenses. Prior to this, on February 4, in the order setting the fast-approaching February 13 hearing1 on the plaintiffs’ original application for a restraining order, Carter invited a broad range of non-parties to appear at Tuesday’s hearing:

The Court also welcomes attendance at the hearing and written briefing by any amicus groups, which may include veterans’ organizations, service providers, abused women’s protection and housing organizations, and other cities affected by the homelessness crisis in Orange County that are not named as Defendants in this case.

Well, beginning last Friday and continuing on through tonight, a number of amicus briefs were filed. You can find a list and links to the actual pleadings after the break. Also, although I’m not really committing myself to covering every aspect of this case, it’s been really interesting so far, so I went ahead and set up a page on the Archive to collect pleadings.
Continue reading Amicus Briefs Filed In Orange County Catholic Worker Case In Support Of Injunction Against Evictions, Hearing On Tuesday Morning, February 13

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In Response To Emergency Motion Filed Yesterday By Plaintiffs, Last Night Federal Judge David Carter Issued Temporary Injunction Forbidding Orange County From Arresting Homeless People On The Santa Ana Riverbed Pending The Scheduled Hearing On February 13

For background, see Luke Money‘s excellent coverage in the Times, starting with this January 29 article on the Lawsuit and continuing with Monday’s article on the February 13 hearing.

UPDATE: The Times (finally) got around to covering this development this afternoon. Here’s their story on the temporary restraining order.

I’m not really covering the lawsuit, filed on January 29, by the Orange County Catholic Worker and Carol Sobel’s law firm against Orange County for civil rights violations incurred against homeless human beings living on the bed of the Santa Ana River.1 You can read the initial complaint here to get an idea of what’s going on.

Yesterday afternoon the plaintiffs asked the County when they were going to start arresting people living on the riverbed and the County replied at 5:31 p.m. that arrests would begin today, February 7. Read the entire email exchange here:

Consequently, beginning tomorrow morning, OCSD personnel will begin advising people remaining on the District Santa Ana Riverbed property that they must vacate or may be cited and/or arrested for trespassing.

This prompted the plaintiffs to file an Emergency Request to Stay Arrests with the court. The metadata of that PDF suggests it was written at 5:59 yesterday, about half an hour after the County’s reply. There is a transcription after the break.

This, in turn, prompted the court to issue an Order Granting Temporary Restraining Order forbidding the County from arresting homeless human beings on the riverbed for trespassing, loitering, or camping, until the hearing on February 13. The metadata of that PDF suggests that it was written at 11:11 p.m. yesterday. There is a transcription after the break.
Continue reading In Response To Emergency Motion Filed Yesterday By Plaintiffs, Last Night Federal Judge David Carter Issued Temporary Injunction Forbidding Orange County From Arresting Homeless People On The Santa Ana Riverbed Pending The Scheduled Hearing On February 13

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In May 2017 Pete White, Represented By Carol Sobel, Filed Suit Against The City Of Los Angeles, Charlie Beck, And Officer Kenny For Arresting Him While He Was Filming Cops V. Homeless In 2016

Pete White being arrested while filming the LAPD on June 14, 2016.
In May 2017 Pete White of the Los Angeles Community Action Network, represented by Carol Sobel, filed suit in federal district court against the City of Los Angeles, Charlie Beck, and some cop named Officer Kenny. The basis of the complaint is that Kenny ordered Pete White’s 2016 arrest while he was lawfully filming LAPD interactions with homeless people on Skid Row. Pete White claims, and it seems right to me, that he was arrested in retaliation for his activism on behalf of homeless residents of Skid Row.

For some reason, this suit does not seem to have been reported on in the real news media, and I’m interested, so I’ll be at least collecting the pleadings here. You can find them:

Or, if you prefer, here is a copy of the initial complaint, which is the only item of consequence that’s presently available. There are selections after the break.
Continue reading In May 2017 Pete White, Represented By Carol Sobel, Filed Suit Against The City Of Los Angeles, Charlie Beck, And Officer Kenny For Arresting Him While He Was Filming Cops V. Homeless In 2016

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Kerry Morrison’s Ruinously Expensive Obsessions With Homeless Outreach And Guns Cause Severe Cutbacks In BID Patrol Service Even As Expenditures Go Up, Up, Up — HPOA/CHC Books Cooked In 2015 To Obscure This Trend — Time For An Intervention!

Kerry Morrison at the Central Hollywood Coalition board meeting on November 8, 2016.
Kerry Morrison at the Central Hollywood Coalition board meeting on November 8, 2016.
Watch and listen here1 to an interminable discussion at last Tuesday’s meeting of the Board of Directors of the Central Hollywood Coalition2 about how to pay the increasing cost of the armed BID Patrol while, at the same time, maintaining or expanding dedicated “homeless outreach” services, also provided by Andrews International. In particular, staff is asking the board to approve a 5% increase in the A/I budget for next year to cover salary increases and so on.

Here are some numbers. A/I pays its BID Patrol officers $31.50 an hour.3 Almost certainly the BID is paying A/I significantly more than that. Also note that base pay for A/I unarmed officers is $13 per hour. In other words, armed officers cost about 2.5 times as much as unarmed officers. If A/I’s markup to the BID is a percentage of its HR costs then this ratio will hold constant regardless of what the BID is actually paying.4 Now, most BIDs in the City of Los Angeles do not have armed security. In fact, as far as I can tell, the two HPOA BIDs run by Kerry Morrison are the only BIDs that do.5 We have written before about Kerry Morrison’s disturbing and utterly disproportionate love of guns, and that’s probably enough to explain her insistence on armed security despite the high cost.6 And the cost is very high. According to the Sunset & Vine BID’s 2015 independent audit, the BID paid $805,608 for security out of total annual expenditures of $1,542,735.7

And what do they get for that? It’s explained in this exchange from last week‘s meeting.8 It’s essentially four dedicated officers per fourteen hour day, backed up by officers from the Hollywood Entertainment District, with slightly less on Sundays. Assuming 8 hour days, and not adjusting for Sundays, this is 11,648 hours per year.9 Dividing this into the 2015 security expenditure yields a rate of $69.16. The 2013 contract between A/I and the HPOA gives the markup rate as 82% for BID patrol officers and 55% for supervisors, so this is roughly consistent with a base hourly rate of $31.50.10
Continue reading Kerry Morrison’s Ruinously Expensive Obsessions With Homeless Outreach And Guns Cause Severe Cutbacks In BID Patrol Service Even As Expenditures Go Up, Up, Up — HPOA/CHC Books Cooked In 2015 To Obscure This Trend — Time For An Intervention!

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David Ryu’s Staff Evidently Considered and Rejected Lisa Schechter’s and Media District BID’s (Illegal, Unethical) Plea For A Council Motion Regarding Oversize Vehicle Parking In February 2016

Lisa Schechter in February 2016, right around the time that David Ryu's staff was quite sensibly deciding to ignore her illegal and unethical lobbying to ban RV's in the Media District.
Lisa Schechter in February 2016, right around the time that David Ryu’s staff was quite sensibly deciding to ignore her illegal and unethical lobbying to attack homeless people by banning RVs in the Media District.
Recall that in August 2016, Mitch O’Farrell and Mike Bonin introduced a motion in Council to attack the homeless by prohibiting RVs from parking overnight in the Media District BID. This was as a result of lobbying by Lisa Schechter, now executive directrix of the Hollywood Media District BID, but formerly Tom LaBonge’s high muckety-muck for something or another. The full story is here. At the time I wondered why David Ryu hadn’t seconded the motion, given that (a) Schechter had lobbied him heavily to do so, and (b) a significant part of the Media District BID is in CD4:

[His non-involvement] suggests the possibility that Ryu isn’t as invested in pleasing these BIDdies as O’Farrell is. Or maybe he’s sitting it out because his staff has made him aware that Schechter’s up to something sneaky.

Well, I recently obtained emails from CD4 that bear on the matter. These are heavily redacted, but interestingly, as is sometimes the case, the redactions themselves tell part of the story.
Continue reading David Ryu’s Staff Evidently Considered and Rejected Lisa Schechter’s and Media District BID’s (Illegal, Unethical) Plea For A Council Motion Regarding Oversize Vehicle Parking In February 2016

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